One of six finalists will be named Farm Sprayer of the Year 2021 in the Sprays & Sprayers Arena at the Cereals Event at 1pm on Wednesday 30th June.
For the second year running they faced being assessed and judged online. But despite the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 restrictions, it is clear all the operators present superb skills and awareness of safe and efficient operations.
“The FSOOTY Awards judge all aspects of farm spraying to identify the very best operators across the UK, and to share their understanding and expertise,” says Syngenta Application Specialist, Scott Cockburn. “We have been impressed with how, despite the difficulties, all the contestants have coped with the unusual circumstances. Although, that’s possibly second-nature to sprayer operators – who adapt to face fresh challenges nearly every day.
“Syngenta recognises that the skills of the sprayer operator are paramount in achieving the full potential from all our crop protection products,” he adds. “All the finalists exhibit best practice that delivers efficient, cost effective and, above all, safe crop spraying.”
Meet the FSOOTY 2021 finalists
Steven Forbes – W.H Gittins and Sons, Wykey Farm, Shrewsbury
As the main sprayer operator at W.H Gittins and Sons, Wykey Farm, near Shrewsbury, Steven Forbes keeps busy looking after 1,280ha of crops including cereals, whole crop silage, sugar beet and maize. He operates a 2019 Sands Horizon, with a 6,000-litre tank, with 36m boom fitted with twin lines and Duo React nozzle bodies for manual or auto-switching between two nozzles. Control is via the Ag Leader terminal.
Luke Haynes – Stevens Farm (Hawkhurst), Cranbrook, Kent
It’s the second year running that Luke Haynes has made the FSOOTY final, although since last time he has changed jobs and model of sprayer. He now operates a 5,000-litre Rogator 645 with 30m Pommier boom at Stevens Farm (Hawkhurst), near Cranbrook in Kent. Here he is responsible for spraying 1,150ha of crops including wheat, oats, oilseed rape and beans.
Tom Ingram – Sutton Cheney Farms Partnership, Nuneaton, Warwicks
Tom Ingram, is assistant manager at Sutton Cheney Farms Partnership near Market Bosworth, where he operates a Knight SP 1840, with a 4,000-litre tank and 24m boom. Currently studying for his BASIS qualification, Tom says he entered FSOOTY to help improve his knowledge and learn more from other operators.
Jonathan Legg, Ashton Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
Although he has held is PA1 and PA2 for years, Jonathan Legg only put his qualifications to use when he joined Ashton Farms, based at Trowbridge, Wiltshire five years ago.
Now he operates a 4,000-litre, Bateman RB35 with 30m VG boom, with twin lines and is responsible for covering about 7,000ha of mainly contract operations in a 20-30 mile radius of the base.
Danny Milazzo – Drysdales, Cockburnspath, Berwickshire
A move to a Rogator 645, with a 5,000-litre tank and 36m boom, delivers more capacity for Danny Milazzo, compared with the 24m/4,000-litre machine it replaced. This really helps when most of his applications are carried out at 300 litres/ha. As the main sprayer operator at Drysdales, based in the Borders, he is responsible for spraying a large proportion vegetable crops.
Josh Whitear – Netherley Farm Partnership, Waterlooville, Hants
Josh Whitear reckons his Amazone front- and rear-combination on a John Deere 6155R is more than a match when it comes to specification and comfort. Equipped with individual nozzle control, auto-tank filling and rinsing as well as continuous liquid flow between the tanks, he uses the sprayer for 413ha of combinable crops at Netherley Farm Partnership, near Waterlooville, Hampshire.